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Jeff Wigelsworth Ph.D.

Jeff Wigelsworth
Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Arts and Culture

Jeff Wigelsworth is an historian who specializes in the intellectual environment of early-modern Europe.  His research explores the assimilation of theological, political, and scientific ideas into the culture of seventeenth and eighteenth century England.  This work is concerned primarily with the views of English deists and their critics, but also finds expression in studies of how science became part of England’s national discourse through exposure to newspaper advertisements.  Currently he is looking at a late-seventeenth century attempt to use Isaac Newton’s mathematics to determine the date of the Second Coming.  He is also exploring the historical use of violence to change people’s minds


Social Sciences and Humanities council of Canada Post-doctoral Fellowship 2006-2008
Ph.D. (History), University of Saskatchewan 2006
M.A. (History of Science), University of Calgary 2000
B.A. (History), University of Calgary 1997

Main Areas of Teaching

Early Modern and Medieval, History of Witchcraft, Science and Religion, English Social History, Modern European, British Empire, and the United States.

Scholarly Activity

Selected Publications (since 2006)

  • All Souls College, Oxford in the Early Eighteenth Century: Piety, Political Imposition, and Legacy of the Glorious Revolution. Scientific and Learned Cultures and Their Institutions series (Leiden: Brill, 2018).
  • Editor (with Wayne Hudson and Diego Lucci), Atheism and Deism Revalued: Heterodox Religious Identities in Britain, 1650-1800 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2014).
  • Selling Science in the Age of Newton: Advertising and the Commoditization of Knowledge. Science, Technology and Culture, 1700-1945 series (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010).
  • Deism in Enlightenment England: Theology, Politics, and Newtonian Public Science. Politics, culture and society in early modern Britain series (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009).
  • Science and Technology in Medieval European Life. Daily life through history series (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006).


  • "Male Embodiment of a Female Witch Body, a Hypothesis,” Magic, Ritual, & Witchcraft, forthcoming. 
  • “Edward Stillingfleet’s Theological Critique of Cartesian Natural Philosophy,” History of European Ideas, forthcoming
  • (with Diego Lucci) “‘GOD DOES NOT ACT ARBITRARILY, OR INTERPOSE UNNECESSARILY’: Providential Deism and the Denial of Miracles in Wollaston, Tindal, Chubb, and Morgan,” Intellectual History Review, 25 (2015): 167-189.
  • “Of Gowns and Governments: The Spectre of James II at the University of Oxford in the early Eighteenth Century,” History of Universities, 27/2 (2013): 116-145.
  • “The Battle for Religion in Eighteenth-Century Oxford: All Souls College, the Warden, the Fellows, the House of Commons, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Queen of England,” History of Universities 26/2 (2012): 150-195.
  • “A Sheep in the Midst of Wolves: Reassessing Newton and English Deists,” Enlightenment and Dissent, (Special Issue: Isaac Newton and Eighteenth-Century Thought) 25 (2009): 260-286.
  • “The Disputed Root of Salvation in Eighteenth-Century English Deism: Thomas Chubb and Thomas Morgan Debate the Impact of the Fall,” Intellectual History Review 19 (2009): 29-43.
  • “Samuel Clarke’s Newtonian Soul,” Journal of the History of Ideas 70 (2009): 45-68.

Book Reviews:
More than twenty reviews in

  • British Journal for the History of Science
  • Canadian Journal of History
  • Early Science and Medicine
  • The English Historical Review
  • H-Albion
  • History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
  • Journal of British Studies
  • Journal of Ecclesiastical History
  • Metascience
  • University of Toronto Quarterly

Current Research
I am writing an article-length study of John Craig's use of Issac Newton's work to calculate the likely year for the Second Coming of Christ.

Professional Memberships
2017-2020: Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science Advisory Board

Awards and Honours

2020:  Red Deer College, Recognition of Scholarly Activity Award.
2016: Red Deer College, Recognition of Scholarly Activity Award.
2015: Red Deer College, Recognition of Scholarly Activity Award.
2011 – 2012: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant.
2006 – 2008: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Post-Doctoral Fellowship.
2002 – 2004: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship.

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